Title: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Author: Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith
Release Date: April 4, 2009
Publisher: Quirk Books
Genre: Satire, Fantasy
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4 out of 5
It’s Pride & Prejudice…but with an unexpected twist. Now the classic novel beloved by millions has zombies! Will Lizzie and Darcy find true love, or will brain-eating zombies cut their lives short?
When my book club picked Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as our monthly read, I wasn’t sure what to think. On one hand, I knew I definitely wanted to read the book, simply to see what all the fuss was about. Plus, honestly (seeing as how Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was the first in what has become a wave of “updated” classic works) I thought it was a unique and creative idea, one that had the potential to be very funny. However, I was also hesitant. While the idea behind the novel was amusing, I knew it could get old very quickly. All in all, I was very curious when I first opened the book’s pages.
I was very surprised to discover that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was simply delightful! It was seriously funny – Grahame-Smith has a deft hand, inserting zombie scenes and references to Elizabeth’s status as a ninja where they feel almost natural. Surprisingly, the satire never gets old – I chuckled just as much at the end of the book as I did at the beginning. Additionally, the work is something like 85% Austen’s words – Seth Grahame-Smith left the main body intact and simply spruced up the edges. The book is still the Pride & Prejudice we know and love – just now with a little something extra.
One complaint I had is that there actually wasn’t enough zombie for me. Grahame-Smith handles the zombies with little explanation or elaboration. They are simply a fact of life in Regency England. I would have loved it if the zombies had their own plotline – if, along with Lizzie and Darcy finally overcoming their differences and acknowledging their love for one another, they also solved the mystery of where the zombies came from or why they have been more brazen with their attacks as of late. But of course, that would have required an even larger detour from the original Pride and Prejudice text, which I’m sure the author wanted to avoid. I’m sure even this version has Jane Austen rolling around in her grave (no pun intended!)
If you’re an Austen purist, run away from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Run away screaming, as if zombies were coming to eat your brains. But if you enjoy satire and parody, and also love Pride & Prejudice, I think you’ll find a lot to enjoy in this book. I’m definitely glad I read it.